By Nick Richardson @NickSonofDave on June 29, 2014
The Kansas City Chiefs accomplished one of the biggest turnarounds in recent history last year when they went from 2-14 in 2012 to a playoff berth in 2013. The season ended in disastrous fashion, however, as the Chiefs suffered one of the greatest collapses in playoff history against the Indianapolis Colts. Surprisingly, the Chiefs did not get much from their 2013 rookies. It remains to be seen how much the class of 2014 will contribute.
Dee Ford was one of the more interesting first-round picks in 2014. He was the best player on national runner-up Auburn’s defense, but it remains to be seen how he will fit in with the Chiefs’ 3-4 defense. Ford doesn’t have the size to play DE in a 3-4, and Tamba Hali and Justin Houston already man the OLB spots. Ford should at least see time as a situational pass-rusher.
With the loss of Pro Bowler Brandon Flowers and Sean Smith in legal trouble, the Chiefs are looking for anything they can get from the cornerback position. One would expect Phillip Gaines to step in and play significant minutes as a rookie. However, he has not gotten many looks in camp so far and may end up having to settle for special-teams duty.
Once return specialist Dexter McCluster left, De'Anthony Thomas seemed to have a ready-made spot on Kansas City’s roster. The diminutive former Oregon standout will never be a traditional running back or even wide receiver in the NFL, but he could end up being a McCluster-type jack-of-all-trades, causing havoc all over the field. He’s one of those rare players who can score from anywhere on the field.
With incumbent Alex Smith and backups Tyler Bray and Chase Daniel occupying spots on the depth chart, don’t expect Aaron Murray to see much time besides the requisite preseason snaps. However, he has looked good in camp so far after coming back from ACL surgery.
With several question marks along Kansas City’s offensive line, Zach Fulton might get more playing time than one might expect from a sixth-round pick. A load at 6-foot-5, 316 pounds, Fulton is a perfect fit for a team that is built on the running game like the Chiefs. He should push to start at right guard in 2014.
A relative unknown from Canadian college McGill, Laurent Duverny-Tardif is an intriguing prospect. At 6-foot-5, 321 pounds, he has run the 40-yard dash in less than five seconds, which is incredibly fast for a man his size. He may not make much of an impact this season, but his physical gifts are too impressive to ignore.
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